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The Etgar program of the The Jewish Education Center of Cleveland (JECC) provides supplemental religious education to any Jewish student in the greater Cleveland area who is not able to learn in the regular congregational setting. The JECC works to develop and implement programs that dramatically improve Jewish education for children with special needs.

Etgar is available to students, ranging in age from 6 to 21 years old, with various special needs including students with:

  • Learning and/or behavior disorders
  • Autism 
  • Down syndrome
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Motor and physical delays
  • Language impairment 

Etgar classes, led by highly qualified special education teachers, provide the structure, materials and teaching format crucial for a successful religious school experience. Teen aides assist in each class.

Although Etgar classes are held at two synagogues, the classes are comprised of students from many Cleveland area synagogues and from diverse Jewish backgrounds. Students attend classes according to age and abilities during regular Sunday school hours.

During the Etgar school year, students learn about Jewish holidays, Bible stories, life cycle events, prayers and blessings, and Israel. Hebrew is taught to students according to their abilities. In addition, the Etgar program is enhanced with special programming such as the Living Legacy Matza factory and Havdalah programs, celebrations of Israel and Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Special learning programs are made possible annually by designated funds of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland.

For additional information, please contact the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland at 216.371.0466.

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